Zionist Union, Meretz reach vote sharing deal
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Israeli elections 2015

Zionist Union, Meretz reach vote sharing deal

Joint List of Arab parties, Yesh Atid refrain from signing agreements with center-left parties to pool unused ballots

Labor leader Isaac Herzog, center, speaking to the press in the Knesset alongside Shas leader Aryeh Deri, left, and Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on, seated far-right, March 10, 2014. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Labor leader Isaac Herzog, center, speaking to the press in the Knesset alongside Shas leader Aryeh Deri, left, and Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on, seated far-right, March 10, 2014. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

The Zionist Union and Meretz party on Friday signed an agreement whereby they’d share excess votes, possibly resulting in an extra Knesset seat for the center-left bloc after the elections.

Surplus vote agreements enable leftover votes from two parties to be added together, potentially adding an additional Knesset seat to one of them.

Earlier negotiations between both Meretz and the Zionist Union and the Joint List failed to reach a deal, meaning any votes for the Arab parties that don’t round off will go to waste.

“It’s a shame that the Joint List prefers isolationism even when it’s the one that must pay the price,” Meretz MK Issawi Freij told Channel 10.

He said the Arab parties’ failure to agree to a vote-sharing deal will not only harm the Joint List, but also the “greater aim of replacing the Netanyahu government, a government which harmed and harms the Israeli Arab public.”

The centrist Yesh Atid party also didn’t make any deals with other center-left parties before Friday’s deadline to submit vote-sharing agreements.

The Likud and Jewish Home parties have already agreed to share their excess votes, and last month the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism parties agreed to share theirs.

Elections polls published Friday put the Zionist Union and Likud neck-and-neck going into the final stretch with 23 or 24 seats apiece.

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